Saturday, December 13, 2014

I don't want to jinx it but ...

At 4 1/2 months, The Bean sleeps 9-12 hours a night.
I remember thinking he would never sleep as good as The Bun who slept 12 hours at 6 months.
Who feels absolutely blessed? THIS MAMA.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Motherhood is...

powering through when I'm in a bad mood, depressed, tired, sad, and/or sick.
BB (before babies), the only way I got better was to rest. I mean, not-do-a-damn-thing-but-stay-in-my-bed kind of rest. This became impossible when I decided to be a mother. Even with my extraordinary village which includes The Man, my parents, school and after school program, a kiddo still needs to be roused, fed, clothed, entertained, and driven somewhere. Essentially, cared for. Would you believe it is easier to rest during the work week than on the weekends? Because during the work week, school and/or childcare is already in place. But on the weekends, it is a tag team effort between two parents (if one is fortunate to have a partner in this game) and there really isn't opportunity to rest unless a parent absolutely needs it.
Why do I mention this? I caught a wicked cold earlier this month which did a number on me. I was able to call in sick one work day but, because I just returned from maternity leave, I only took off that one day. When I don't load up on meds and pass out (my preferred version of rest), it takes longer for me to bounce back.
This morning, I felt the early symptoms of a UTI. As the day wore on, I could tell my UTI was getting worse. I tried cranberry vitamins and lots of fluid, to no avail. I called my healthcare provider in the afternoon to get meds. I knew it was going to go downhill fast. I would be doubled over in pain by nightfall.
Thanks goodness, my provider will push through a prescription without me having to see a doctor.
My husband, kids and I stopped by the pharmacy this evening and picked up my meds. Unfortunately, it takes a few hours to kick in. My discomfort grew and grew. But I powered through.
BB, I would've picked up the meds by myself, went home, and crawled into bed after two glasses of wine to numb the pain and help me sleep. Now, this mama has to remain coherent and sharp. My daughter is still under the weather and the baby still needs to be breastfed. There was no time for futzing.
Motherhood is ugly and beautiful, chaotic and serene, thankless and fulfilling, heartbreaking and abundant with love. It is incredibly ironic. Sometimes, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Most times, I feel utterly blessed.
Tonight, as I lay next to my husband and am finally resting, I'm so very thankful to be my husband's wife and mama to two lovely kiddos. (The UTI is a mood killer, though.)

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Pregnancy update flashbacks & props to the Nana (& Papa)

I'm not one for selfies. Not because I'm too cool or above them, I'm just a little too critical and self-conscious to be comfortable with them. But I'm so glad I did them with The Bun. So technically, they're called ussies? Whatever. I posted them in my blog but I wanted a page where I could see them all at once so I could show The Bun and, eventually, The Bean:
18 weeks.
19 weeks.
20 weeks.
21 weeks.

22 weeks.
23 weeks.
24 weeks.
25 weeks.
26 weeks.
27 weeks.
28 weeks.
29 weeks.
30 weeks.
31 weeks.
32 weeks.
33 weeks.
34 weeks.
35 weeks.
36 weeks.

37 weeks.

38 weeks.
Now here is the photo I took on my first day back at work:
I wore this dress at 22 weeks, too:) I have to give a shout out to my mom. I wanted to hem all my wrap dresses so that they were above the knee. Then I could also wear them with flats! I found out that each dress would be $20 to hem. I have a lot of wrap and wrap-like dresses. My mom said she would hem them for me for free, the only catch that it would have to be at her pace. Absolutely! So it's like I have a bunch of new dresses. Man, I love my mom. And this also reminds me that, as shorty, I really need to learn how to sew. Simple alterations can really cost a lot!

But totally not the point of this entry:p I wanted to see all my photos together and give my mom huge props at the end. Yes, she is a hemming goddess. But she's also watching my second little one. She knows he is a bit fussy (he hasn't been diagnosed as having colic but she swears he does) and my mom doesn't want to leave him in the hands of a stranger in case they lose their patience with him. So at 72 years of age, my mom has come out of retirement yet again to work 12 hour days to take care of my baby. That is hard work. And my mom isn't a healthy 72 years. She has battled breast cancer, isn't big on fitness and proclaims to be allergic to healthy foods:p What can I say? I can only suggest her to change things. Just like with anyone else, anything more than suggesting is nagging. And yes, she has told me to stop nagging.

Me and the queen bee at my graduation party ten years ago.
I am absolutely blessed to have my parents nearby. My dad will be 80 years old this year. While my mom is the primary care giver to The Bean, my dad steps in here and there when my mom needs a break. This golden dynamic duo makes it possible for me to go back to work and, as my mom likes to point out because she is very fiscally-minded, saves us money on daycare. I admit, I worry because they're health is spotty, but we take it one day at a time. I love and appreciate them so much.
Me & my parents at my wedding six years ago.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Last day of maternity leave

I loved being on maternity leave. These were simple yet beautiful moments in my life that I will treasure. If you know me at all, you know I don't believe in just writing about the good times. Sometimes, during certain hours of a day, I was frustrated and wished I was somewhere else. But it never lasted very long. Even the times when it was/is in the middle of the night, the feelings of frustration didn't last too long. I wish I blogged more just so I could remember (my memory is terrible) but then I wouldn't have been in the moment. I didn't even FaceBook too much just because I would have to stop what I was doing, upload the photo, crop and then caption it. I did it here and there but not as much as I thought I would.

It's not good to love material objects, I know, but I love my iPhone. I was able to easily capture moments. I love that I can upload them to my photo website as well as FB and here (although, again, I have to make more of an effort so it didn't always happen.) Don't get me started on the fact that there is an app for everything. I used it to know when I last fed The Bean as well as which side:) I also used an app to track my exercise because I like checklists and it felt good to see how many times I got my butt outside and walked. But the best part, for me, are the photos.

It feels like I'm starting a new chapter in my life. We had so many firsts recently - The Bean's birth and then The Bun starting TK - her introduction to real school. And now I'm ending my maternity leave and going back to work as a mother of two. It truly feels like a new endeavor.

My eldest is 5 years old. Five! The Bun is growing up so fast. She is so beautiful, fierce and fragile.  She will be the only daughter I will ever have. And then my son, my new(-ish)born ... I can't believe I am 35 years older than him. And that he is my last baby. He is the only son I will ever have. It's surreal to think of 'them or our relationships like that but it's true. Being their mom is the most important, hardest, most thankless and yet, the most very special job I will ever have.

I wanted to include photos I found on my photo stream during my maternity leave that I hadn't included in older posts. All these small and lovely moments over the past four months:

Can you see my tears? One of the most poignant moments in my life was being introduced to my baby as soon as I delivered him.

My babies together. Loved that The Bun was allowed to visit and meet her baby brother the day he was born. She stayed with Papa while Nana & Daddy were with me for labor.

The Man & his mini-man.

This makes me laugh. Truly his Mini!

So small.

The Best big sister ever. She loves him to pieces.

Speaking of sisters, MY sister hooted and hollered when I posted this photo on FB so I had to include it here. She said that they will have to reenact this photo when The Bean turns 21.

Papa, my Dad, is the Baby Whisperer. He has a way with them. (Full disclosure: When the babies do get fussy or, in the Bean's case, hollers, yells and screams, Papa hands the baby off to my mom who has to deal with the the detonated bomb:)

This girl loves stickers and jewels. Craziness ensued when someone gave her jeweled stickers! Love her free spirit and daring style<3

Yet another photo of The Man and his Mini-Man.

I think that my pregnancy was still fresh in her mind. In addition to putting on a Tinkerbell costume just for the fun of it, she put a stuffed animal in her dress (you may be able to see the feet dangling) and completed the look with a phone. To set things straight, I'm hardly ever talking on the phone in front of her. Texting and surfing the 'net - guilty. But I'm not much of a phone person these days.

I didn't take this one. It was a pleasant surprise in my photo stream because I didn't even know The Man took it. But look how beautiful The Bean is here! Why I can't stay frustrated for very long. This face gets me every time. Especially when he breaks out a grin. I turn into a softie.

Flashbacks of my childhood from this photo. Papa taught me how to ride a bike. He was guiding her here ... our yard is more like a yardlette - teeny. Too tiny to learn how to bike. But The Bun still had a good time.

The pups have been good sports. They are having to share the love yet again!:\ Thank goodness they have each other. Pili didn't want to pose for this but, again, she is a good sport.

My friend had twins just a few months before I had The Bean. Here is one of them playing next to him. I hope that he and the twins become best buds.

Our little girl's first school function - Fall Festival! I've felt like a parent pretty much from Day One but I haven't felt like an "Older Parent" until we had a kiddo in school. Drop offs, pick ups, homework, Parent/Teacher conferences - I really feel we've hit a new stage in our parenthood.

Arguably, one of the best photos I took during my maternity leave. This photo was probably one of the most popular ones of the photos I posted on FaceBook. It basically shows the awesomeness of The Bun in her love for The Bean (and how good of a listener she is.) He was hollering in the back and one of us probably said, "Binkie him! Stat!" So she did. And when we arrived at my parents' house, we opened the back passenger doors to discover they were both knocked out. The Bean with his pacifier firmly in place because The Bun made sure to "Binkie him!" Even when she herself passed out, she carried out our request. What a great sis.

We attended a wedding last month that was children-friendly. Then, this month, we attended a wedding for adults only. It was one of the most elegant weddings I've seen. I love going to weddings with The Man and seeing my friends' interpretations of what their very special day looks to them. They're all so different and all very beautiful.

I remember driving to The Bun's school and thinking, "The few parents I see walking their kids to school are nuts! That walk looks hard and must take forever!" Well, I walked The Bun to school four (maybe five? I can't remember! Shocker, right?) because I made up my mind that we were going to wake up early enough so I could do it. Boy, I cut it close a couple of times and learned that I could make a 25 minute walk in 17 minutes. My sister calls it, "the walk that's uphill, both ways." It isn't pleasant but I got a little bored of the other walk I did which is more scenic and is uphill one way. I'm no triathlete so take my viewpoint with a grain of salt but - this walk is an @$$kicker.

I got to volunteer a couple of times in The Bun's classroom when I discovered that I could bring The Bean and, if I wore him, he wouldn't be disruptive. I was so happy when one of the times I could volunteer was when they were celebrating October birthdays. The Bun adored having her mama and baby brother there.

I'm going to miss being on maternity leave. I'm going to miss bonding with my son and watching him rapidly change and learn new things. I'm going to miss being able to walk The Bun to school and volunteering in her class. I know it makes her feel special when I do. I read so many blogs and articles of working moms and stay-at-home moms feel conflicted and feel guilt for one reason or another. It's nothing new and I know that both roles are extremely hard. I wish there was a way we could have it all. But I feel blessed knowing that if I can't be with him all the time, The Bean has my mom and dad. I still have many concerns (my parents are in their golden years so I don't know how long they can take care of my little rascal - he seems like he is destined to be a handful!) but we've got to keep trucking, trying and going about life because it's ALL unknown in one way or another.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More birthday fun, b-feeding and Disney on Ice

The good thing about having parents who feel a little guilty about not taking you out on your actual birthday, you get to celebrate your birthday over and over again!
Really though, we're STILL going somewhere - Disneyland! - but it will be a month and a half later.
We bought an ice cream cake to have the day of her actual birthday. But my parents were tired after her dinner so they went straight home from the restaurant rather than going back to our home. We decided to save it for when we saw them the next day.
She LOVED Happy Birthday being sang to her. Again.
The awesome thing about maternity leave? Spending tons of time with this little mister. We are inseparable ... because I'm his sole food source. This time around, the hormones aren't raging nearly as hard and the physical recovery was so much easier. These two things make it a lot easier to enjoy being together all day, every day. During the more trying times, I remember that this is my last baby. I won't have another cuddlebug until my kids bless me with a grandchild. Whoa, right? I see other family and friends' children growing up so fast and I realize that these kiddos of mine aren't going to want to crawl into bed with me and cuddle in a few years. I mean, I surely don't do that to my parents:p So I will enjoy this time because it is fleeting.
Those cheeks! And yes, The Bean is yanking on my hair.
I debated putting this next photo in. I'm a somewhat reserved individual. But you know what? There is nothing shameful about breast feeding. In fact, I'm proud to be able to do it because it is a tricky thing to figure out and, by golly, I did it. TWICE. There is something peaceful and soothing about breast feeding for both the baby and the mom. And, when I'm exhausted, and he breaks away and smiles at me, he makes me smile. This is what I see several times a day and during this time, especially when we can be home and relaxed, the world slows down a little and we're at peace, together.

Love how I can soothe (and feed!) him so easily. Then there are other times when he is congested or in a mood and it is not nearly as serene!
I like this next photo because it shows just how much The Bean looks like The Man. When our daughter was a baby, he saw so much of himself in her. A few other people did too but, for the most part, the majority thought she looked like me. And as she gets older, more and more people say that. Now, even though I can't be completely objective, I think she is a good mix of the two of us. But she is a girl with long hair so quite a few people comment that she is my MiniMe. Well, now The Man has his MiniMe:) I swear, every time I post a photo on Facebook and whenever people just see him, people exclaim that he looks just like his Daddy. At first, The Man thought it was because baby boy has a bit of a temper;) But, happy or sad, sleepy or mad, this kid looks like him:
This look right here? Soooooo The Man. I've been on the receiving end many times. *sigh*
The Bun recently had a fantastic review by her her Transitional Kindergarten teacher. It was my first Parent Teacher Conference I had a few concerns from things she has told me. The Bun told me she doesn't have friends at TK and mainly hung out by herself:( It made me sad to think that she walked around the classroom during free time, all by herself. This is what she told me! I felt so bad for my poor little girl. Especially since she was little Miss Popular at her preschool.
Her teacher said great things about her. She said that The Bun is studious, polite and social. Her teacher made it a point to tell me that while The Bun can get chattering when provoked, she isn't one of the instigators. Good enough! I told her what The Bun said to me about being a loner and she said that The Bun had quite a few friends. While I don't think she has as much fun in TK than she did in preschool, it's probably because it's a much more structured environment and that might be why she thinks she doesn't have friends - there's not a ton of free time TO play since they're three hours are packed with learning, learning, learning.
She then went over The Bun's academic growth and said that The Bun met half of the requirements going into TK and should move on to Kindergarten with flying colors by the end of the year.
We needed to celebrate! I happened to have a friend who gave me 4 vouchers to Disney on Ice. Yay! Didn't tell The Bun anything but to wear one of her princess dresses. We drove to San Jose and guess what? The vouchers weren't valid on the weekend. But there was no way we were turning back so I paid for the tickets (they did give us 20% off) and we entered the arena.
She kind of had an idea but since she had never attended an ice show. The Bun knew it was Disney-related but not much else:
How cute is she in her Belle gown?
The next day we went on a Mommy double date and had tea. She got to wear another dress:
Same tiara but wearing her Cinderella dress. She has a LOT of Disney dresses.
It can't be easy being a new big sister. She has to share attention and has more responsibilities now. I continue to be impressed by The Bun. I'm so proud of her because we have really high expectations of her and she rises to the occasion every time. She has the biggest heart, is so caring, intelligent and clever. With a sprinkle of sass;)
My most favorite girl in the whole wide world.

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